20) Detroit Pistons - 29-53 in the 2012-2013 season. T11th in the East. 4th in the Central.
The Pistons made an unexpected splash in the offseason, getting both Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings to join their team this year. High expectations are in store for a team that has three of the best frontcourt players in the league, and in a weak East those expectations are even higher. Will this team be able to mesh well together. Time will tell, but the experiment the Pistons are trying will be a fun and entertaining project to watch in the upcoming year.
Acquired: Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, Luigi Datome, Chauncey Billups
Lost: Brandon Knight, Jason Maxiell, Jose Calderon
Starters: Brandon Jennings (PG), Chauncey Billups (SG), Josh Smith (SF), Greg Monroe (PF), Andre Drummond (C)
Bench: Rodney Stuckey (SG), Kantavious Caldwell-Pope (SG), Luigi Datome (SF), Kyle Singler (SF), Charlie Villanueva (PF)
Up: Andre Drummond - A lot of people questioned Drummond around the time of the draft, yet he's come out and proven he could be the next big thing at the Center position. A dominant figure on the boards, and an imposing defensive presence, Andre has got the game. Now with a new cast of characters to pair with him and Monroe, it will be fun to watch him again this year, and see if he has more dazzling moves in his arsenal.
Down: Rodney Stuckey - Talk about it being a struggle for Stuckey. Since being drafted by the Pistons in the 2007 draft, big expectations were in store for Rodney, yet he never quite lived up to the hype. Since the 2010-2011 season, his Points Per Game, Assists Per Game and Shooting Percentage has dropped each year. Now that the Pistons have added even more weapons, it seems like Stuckey has just gotten lost in the mix of the stars in Detroit
X-Factor: Greg Monroe - Monroe is a solid young PF the Pistons have to be happy they drafted. His numbers have climbed each year, and along with Drummond they pair to be one of the most promising frontcourt combos in the league. With Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings now coming to town, Monroe will get more space to do his work, and this could prove to be a promising year. One interesting fact though is Monroe is not under contract, and with Smith, Drummond and Jennings with big deals, some have questioning his future in Detroit, which could be decided by the team play this year.
Question to Ponder...Who is the #1 Offensive Option?
This team has a lot of options now this year. Josh Smith has proven he can be a scoring threat, Greg Monroe was the #1 option last year, and Brandon Jennings can light it up with the best of them. So the question is, with the game on the line, who is the #1 option? Smith is playing at the SF position, which is a position he played part-time in Atlanta, yet his long range shot does not have a great reputation in the NBA. Jennings can get real hot, and will get a lot of open looks on a team with a lot of inside weapons. And then there's Monroe, who was the #1 option last year for this team, and had a fantastic shooting %. It will be a telling tale this year to see which player will get the shots in crunch time, but I would put my money on Jennings.
Bold Prediction for the Detroit Pistons: Josh Smith will have the worst shooting % of his career!
This just seems like an odd situation for Smith. He had a tendency in Atlanta to take really bad shots. Now he is being asked to be on a team with two guys who will crowd the paint, especially Drummond. Which means he's going to be more likely to go for the long range jumpers, which his percentage on those are poor. I don't like him at the SF. He's an inside guy who likes to drive into the paint, not a shooter. This team really doesn't have any shooters, so Smith is going to have to take those shots, resulting in what will be his worst shooting percentage of his career to date.
Projected Record: 33-48 9th in the East, 4th in the Central.